Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"

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Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"

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Valve isn't giving up on single-player games, it's just adding social components to them.

A statement made by Valve for Geoff Keighley's Final Hours of Portal 2 iPad app made it seem like single-player games were on their way out at Valve. According to an interview with Valve head honcho Gabe Newell (done by a high school student), this isn't true all all. In reality, Valve will simply be creating games that are "single-player plus," rather than just single-player.

The statement was: "Portal 2 will probably be Valve's last game with an isolated single-player experience." Some took this to mean that either Valve wasn't going to make fully single-player games anymore, or that Valve wouldn't be dropping players by themselves into worlds with no NPCs.

Gabe Newell clears up the situation by saying: "What we're trying to talk about is the fact that, not that we're not doing single-player games ... It's more that we think we have to work harder in the future, that entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends and recognizing that you're connected with other people. That's the thing we're trying to say."

"Single-player is great, but we also have to recognize that you have friends and want to have that connected as well," Newell added. "It's not about giving up on single-player at all, we actually think that there are a bunch of features and capabilities that we need to add into our single-player games to recognize the socially-connected gamer. Every gamer is instant messaging, every gamer has a Facebook account. If you pretend this doesn't exist you're ignoring the problems you ought to be taking on, so it's 'single-player plus,' not 'no more single-player.'"

I'm glad we have that all cleared up then. The statement primarily impacted the future of Half-Life, Valve's most popular single-player franchise, with a highly-awaited next title that Valve has told fans to hang in there for. Valve changed the single-player game with the original Half-Life, so it would have been depressing to see the company move away from the craft.

The interview reveals that DotA 2, a very not single-player game, is likely Valve's next big release. In fact, Newell says playing DotA 2 has him "by the scruff of the neck." The entire interview, which also goes over Newell's knife collection, can be listened to below.

Source: Reddit

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So they're ripping off Minions of Mirth now? First Prey and now this.

What he says is true for me, even when playing a singleplayer game like oblivion, hl2 etc, I still can't help but talk to people about the game as I'm playing it or in breaks, It improves the game immensely for me.
Of course, that doesn't mean the social aspects they want to add will improve much for me, but I have faith in valve. :)

Aeshi:
So they're ripping off Minions of Mirth now? First Prey and now this.

You realise narbacular drop predates prey, right?

Just no more stupid achievements/trophies like Professor Portal again please.Thanks to the PSN outage I'm NEVER going to find a person who hasnt played portal co-op to play with me.

Good. 99% of the time, when I play single player games, I'm interacting with other people anyways, and if this just makes it easier, then that's great.

Eh, I like to be focused on my singleplayer personally, rather than also chatting to other people - but it's a neat idea, and it'll be interesting to see how they work it into their future games.

More multiplayer bullshit.

I feel like a relic nowadays.

Tom Goldman:

The interview reveals that DotA 2, a very not single-player game, is likely Valve's next big release. In fact, Newell says playing DotA 2 has him "by the scruff of the neck." The entire interview, which also goes over Newell's knife collection, can be listened to below.

inb4 shitstorm about Episode 3 not being next.

Sounds like Single Player Plus is just Single Player with the steam overlay integrated to more than just steam chat (facebook, other instant messengers?). They've already built some interesting tech into the latest TF2 update. You can record, edit, render and upload straight to a youtube account that you link to your steam account all in game TF2.

"Every gamer has facebook account"

That sentance is everything that's wrong with gaming today.

As one who is decidedly un-social, this will either not affect me or it will be an unfortunate annoyance in the midst of my single player game enjoyment.

It will be interesting to see where they go with this idea though.

I just don't get the infatuation about making everything more "social". This just screams to me as being another way to milk gamers out of money while making actual GAMING content thinner and thinner where it is ultimately held hostage as DLC. Leave social gaming, microtransactions and all that other bullshit the gaming industry has a hard on for lately to games like Farmville and their ilk but for fuck's sake keep it out of mainstream games.

Now as to the misguided and outright false assumption every gamer has a Facebook account. Well they don't nor should they. Facebook is a fucking plague on society as a whole. Most people's lives would be lucky to fill an entire haiku nevermind an entire webpage.

The whole idea of things like Facebook, Twitter etc is to give people the false assumptions their mundane lives are more interesting than they actually are. Seriously go look at any of your facebook walls, I'll wait. Do you actually give a shit what friend A is getting next from Netflix? Could you actually be paid to care about those pictures of friend B's snot nosed little brats in rabbit costumes? Of course not. The only people that find even a passing interest in that kind of bullshit is the person who posted it to begin with and the only reason they post that mundane garbage is to stroke their ego under the false assumption that other people give two shits.

I'm not sure Valve have the bull entirely by the horns here.

Sometimes I love to be in multiplayer games, but sometimes I like the solitude of a game like Tomb Raider or Peggle.

And Bookface? Cold day in hell before I go near that virus.

I don't have a facebook account.
And If I had one, I wouldn't want valve to touch it.
Just like I wouldn't want company XY to touch it.

God no. I can't think of anything worse!

I play single player games because I HAVE no connected friends. I only have about 2 irl friends on Steam. The rest are either console players or aren't gamers.

Hell, I haven't even played the Portal 2 co-op yet, because my choices are that limited.

Dont get me wrong, I like multiplayer, but a multiplayer game where I can just dive right in and play, with having to "know somebody".

I was reminded of something akin to Demon's Souls. That wouldn't be so bad.

Could be a great step forward. Could be a single player evolution like Demon's Souls. It could be an inconsequential tangent that doesn't interfere with a person who wants to play single player. Or it could be a minor distraction that's quickly forgotten, but inevitably still worthy an experiment. Regardless what this becomes, I'm not terribly concerned, and i'm glad for the clarification.

Gabe Newell clears up the situation by saying: "What we're trying to talk about is the fact that, not that we're not doing single-player games ... It's more that we think we have to work harder in the future, that entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends and recognizing that you're connected with other people. That's the thing we're trying to say."

No. No it isn't. At all.

Can someone please explain this thinking? What's wrong with a fully single-player experience?

I would hate this idea. To me, a game needs to be an experience that I can fully enjoy alone. I don't like the idea of not getting a full gaming experience without having someone else also playing the game.

But I don't have any friends!

Tom Goldman:
Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"
Every gamer is instant messaging

Not true. I don't IM when I'm playing single player games, nor do I want to. When I play single player games I want to be immersed, not constantly interrupted.

Tom Goldman:
Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"
every gamer has a Facebook account.

Absolutely not true. I will not touch Facebook with a 20 foot pole. It is a cesspool of filth and advertising that not everyone is so willing to give up privacy for.

Tom Goldman:
Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus"
If you pretend this doesn't exist you're ignoring the problems you ought to be taking on, so it's 'single-player plus,' not 'no more single-player.'"

Such a situation doesn't exist, and from this comment it seems you are going to try to manufacture it. I enjoy single player games for their single player experiences. There are time when I don't want to be slowed down or rushed by randoms or friends in games. I shouldn't have to be forced to play online because a growing majority of people can't handle alone time and keep themselves entertained or occupied.

If I want to play a multiplayer game I'll load one up. I really don't want single player content being dumbed down and watered down because the "social aspect" is supposed to fill the gaps.

I'm not a shut in emo with social issues, but I certainly enjoy a certain amount of self exploration, discovery, and achievement on my own in gaming.

Tom Goldman:
entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends and recognizing that you're connected with other people.

Rage

Tom Goldman:
every gamer has a Facebook account.

ADAMANTIUM RAGE.
Clearly we need fucking facebook integration everyfuckingwhere.
That facebook icon in starcraft 2 was totally awesome and looked great right in the main menu but why stop there?
This is so steering towards mandatory facebook accounts in order to play a game at all.
As if that site doesn't get shoved down everyones throat for whatever reason enough.

Also this, along with the bioware "pointless stat games" statement didn't actually clear anything up.
It can actually mean too many things to be "clear".

Tom Goldman:
every gamer has a Facebook account.

I don't have a Facebook! I deleted it because I hate people. All of my favorite games are purely single-player and to me, SP is inherently more compelling than multi-player. As far as the "social" aspect, I think he's missing the point. My friends and I play single-player games independently and the talk about them afterwards. There's nothing wrong with multi-player games, but it's just a little sad that Valve is taking this stance.

That didn't clear anything up for me at all. All I want to know is, are they going to continue making a single player game where I don't at some point have to rely on input from somebody else to complete my game?

Is it truly optional I guess is what I'm saying; or will it lead to things like Left 4 Dead 2, where you're given an illusion that you can complete it playing single player with bots, only to find that the final act is impossible to beat on your own (like The Sacrifice)?

Arcticflame:
What he says is true for me, even when playing a singleplayer game like oblivion, hl2 etc, I still can't help but talk to people about the game as I'm playing it or in breaks, It improves the game immensely for me.
Of course, that doesn't mean the social aspects they want to add will improve much for me, but I have faith in valve. :)

Aeshi:
So they're ripping off Minions of Mirth now? First Prey and now this.

You realise narbacular drop predates prey, right?

Prey was in and out of development from 1995, and the portals were in from the start afaik.

How about this Newell.

Just finish making Half-life 3 or episode 3 THEN you can do whatever you want.

Please? I'll send you a cake? 2 chocolate cakes?

I'm fine with multiplayer aspects that can be turned off/not interfere with the singleplayer, it's when they do that starts to annoy me

i see a problem with this!
who would want to play gordon freeman's sidekick if you can play as, gordon freeman !

Dansrage:
"Every gamer has facebook account"

That sentance is everything that's wrong with gaming today.

yeah, that sentence definitely rubbed me the wrong way. I'm not sure if this is what he means, but please don't turn your games into some kind of single-player game with some cheap farmville aspect slapped on.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I'm not sure Valve have the bull entirely by the horns here.

Sometimes I love to be in multiplayer games, but sometimes I like the solitude of a game like Tomb Raider or Peggle.

And Bookface? Cold day in hell before I go near that virus.

Exterminas:
I don't have a facebook account.
And If I had one, I wouldn't want valve to touch it.
Just like I wouldn't want company XY to touch it.

So don't use the features...

AS for people bitching about everyone not having a FB account, it has a population twice that of the US, so chances are people do have it (when someone says "everyone", they're often not being literal).

He's not even talking about integrating with Facebook specifically, just that things and people are a lot more connected now.

And how on Earth did we get from what is essentially better community features to dumbing down games?

If they start making people 'like' them on Facebook to unlock trailers like other companies do, then yeah, be annoyed, but there's really nothing here for people to get pissy about.

My GOD people... what the hell?

He said, pretty clearly, there will be "SINGLE-PLAYER"... not multi-player or Co-op, but SINGLE PLAYER!

What I believe he meant was further exploiting the steam interface so that it allow you to Integrate games and the social platform they provide. This is distinct from the current setup in that its not just a glorified DRM with bonus game cataloguing and friends list.

Things like Time trial ladders in Single player, or achievement hunts... and of course, extra Co-op and competitive features.

The single player will be there, standing on its own legs, supporting its own weight... but will have a fully integrate social system that you can choose to embrace or ignore.

Jesus... say boo on this forum and people think you killed all their most loved relatives.

Yea, because facebook made Starcraft 2 SOOOOOO much better.

Dansrage:
"Every gamer has facebook account"

That sentance is everything that's wrong with gaming today.

Quite a large number do though, and I wouldn't say that anything is "wrong" with gaming just that is changing. I imagine if you don't have a FB account it won't effect your experience massively.

I trust valve to make a good game, so I don't really care what they do.
if their next game is shitty (because of the social thing or anything else) then I'll just won't buy it
Simples

Personally, don't have a Facebook. Just sayin', Gabe.

By increasing people's reliance on Facebook, Valve is just increasing Facebook's lifespan. Like Myspace, Facebook will one day die, as people (oh, how fickle they are) will move on to something more new and more innovative. However, Facebook is already surely to last longer than Myspace, since almost everything on the internet is somehow connected to it. Unfortunately, this will just create an inconsistency down the line where this "single-player plus" will be connected to an obsolete system no one can take advantage of; at this point, it will just be "single-player" again.

Steam has its own networking thing as it is. It has the instant messenger and a place to comment on your friends. Instead of riding the coattails of a social network, Valve needs to work on increasing the pervasiveness of their own system. And surely as hell, Valve is probably the only company with the ability to succeed with this. The only problem here is that they will then be a game developer, a digital distributor, and a significantly large social network. Good for them, but bad for competition.

Dansrage:
"Every gamer has facebook account"

That sentance is everything that's wrong with gaming today.

And a lie. I only have one because PSN is down and i like talking with the people i gamed with online. Second PSN is back up i'm deleting my account again lol.

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